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Per Se

10 Columbus Cir. (W. 60th St.) Send to Phone
212-823-9335 | Make Restaurant Reservations | Menu
Thomas Keller's Per Se shares the glory of The French Laundry in a beautiful corner of the Time Warner Building.

Lunch Fri.-Sun., Dinner nightly

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Per Se, New York, NY

Per Se Restaurant Review

About the restaurant Thomas Keller’s Per Se has the ingredients that restaurant legends are made of: understated but elegant décor, a gorgeous location overlooking Central Park and Columbus Circle, hospitality and service that establish a new high, plus a wealth of creativity and meticulousness that continually re-define the concept of haute cuisine.

Despite all this, there is a natural warmth and friendliness that makes even the first-time diner feel that they’re part of the Thomas Keller family, as welcome on their first visit as they would be had they spent many dinners at Keller’s storied The French Laundry in Yountville, California, or as a repeat guest here. (Thomas Keller has the distinction of being the only chef in the U.S. with two restaurants on GAYOT’s Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. Per Se and The French Laundry have also garnered GAYOT’s highest rating of 19 out of 20.)

Chef de cuisine Corey Chow leads the Per Se team, most of whom have spent many years honing their skills at Keller’s various restaurants and in culinary training at prestigious locales.

About the menus: The formula for dining at Per Se hasn’t changed since the restaurant’s debut in 2004. Guests are given a choice of two set menus, either a meat/seafood or vegetable medley of nine small plates, priced at $340 per person for both lunch and dinner. Several of the dishes, including foie gras, white truffles, Wagyu and caviar, have supplemental charges. (There is an abbreviated version of the non-vegetarian menu for $195 per person, as well as a dessert tasting for $70 per person at the diminutive Salon, located just outside the main restaurant.) All prices include service.

There are generally two seatings per table each night, scheduled at staggered times, although if guests choose to stay until the late hours, there’s no pressure to leave your table by a specific hour. The trappings that made Keller famous from the start --- a ramekin divided into portions for various salts, specially designed Riedel crystal, custom china, a cozy fireplace and intuitive service --- all add to the ethereal dining experience.

Dislikes: Reservations are tricky to come by as Per Se is full every night, but the restaurant will work with you as best as they can to accommodate your schedule.
Likes: Weekend lunches may offer an easier entrée to secure a table. Walk-ins are allowed in the Salon.

About the food: The evening begins with a conversation about preferences, dietary restrictions and such, and a welcome glass of Champagne. An amuse-bouche of one of Per Se’s staples, salmon tartare in a tiny pastry cone with red onion crème fraîche, signals the start of the nine-course meal.

Classics from both The French Laundry and Per Se mingle with new choices, with menus changed daily. Reflecting the fall season, a starter of acorn square potage had a rich butterscotch taste from an addition of Pearson Farm pecans and a delicious crunch from lacinato kale. A favorite throughout the year, chef Keller’s Oysters and Pearls is a fluffy cushion of white sturgeon caviar set atop Island Creek oysters from Massachusetts and a bed of tapioca pearls. Another classic, the hen egg custard, shows off the restaurant’s propensity for using black and white truffles. Truffles also find their way into the pasta course, with tagliatelle or risotto benefitting from the richness of generous tableside shavings. Hudson Valley duck foie gras, another perennial favorite, is prepared two ways and segues into two seafood courses, possibly shima aji sashimi or monkfish étoufée, followed by grilled Scottish langoustines or butter-poached lobster, a dish with a tongue-in-cheek name of “macaroni and cheese.” The finale is the richest small plate of the meal with choices like rib-eye of lamb or Miyazaki Wagyu, the first framed by carrots, lettuce and black truffles, and the latter painted with a rich steak sauce and accompanied by potato rosti and black trumpet mushrooms.

About the desserts: Per Se’s multi-dessert presentation could be considered a meal itself. On a given night, offerings from the exceptionally talented pastry team might include a green chartreuse trifle with juniper-scented pears; frozen orange custard adorned with cocoa nibs, maple and gingersnap crumble; seasonally appropriate ice cream like eggnog; and various chocolate preparations. More chocolates complete the menu, served from a magnificent wooden box, and you can expect a gift bag to take home with you with even more mignardises.

About the wine: Wine pairings are available, or diners may choose from the 2,100-selection wine list presided over by sommeliers who will often suggest surprising yet appropriate selections. Per Se takes pride in showcasing the unexpected --- perhaps an Andalusian sherry to start, followed by a Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and an Italian Barolo, with a Pineau des Charentes to finish. The list is heavy on California and Italian wines but also emphasizes Champagne, Burgundy and Bordeaux. Chef Keller donates a portion of all California wine sales to help rebuild the Napa and Sonoma areas.
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